My personal favourites include "Tauren's hitboxes and their melee reach is slightly larger than other races" - those bloody taurens were the bane of my Night Elf's life! - "Feared players and NPCs run fast" - I always seemed to end up being feared into an angry pack of mobs - and, "Standing on top of other players while facing away allows spells and attacks to be used."
Logging in for the first time, being welcomed by THAT login screen and THAT music... You can't not be taken back if you've played Vanilla, and especially if you've played 2 years of it non-stop all day every day. I probably stayed 10 minutes in character creation just because of the music alone (and trying to get my character looking exactly as it did back then - although I wasn't a shaman then). The whole intro experience was especially amazing for me since the Tauren starting zone was my first encounter with WoW in the EU beta, and a little bit of that spark did return. But is that all Classic has to offer? A trip back in time when we were wowed by the game for the very first time?
The first—and among the most important—decision we had to make was which version of the game to focus on. As many of you have noted, the classic period was two years long and full of changes. Core features like Battlegrounds were introduced in patches after WoW’s original launch, and class design similarly changed over time. After careful consideration, we decided on Patch 1.12: Drums of War as our foundation, because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience.
This was a good start, but there were issues with how the developers used to handle updates to the database data. Unlike the source code, for which Blizzard had archives for multiple branches of the game that could be worked on and developed as separate pieces, early database data was overwritten with each commensurate update. Thankfully, that problem was fixed very quickly after launch, and when we looked, we found data going back to version 1.12—and even earlier.
This is definitely why we do a beta test. We can also do things like reset the realm at a busy time like 4:30pm PDT to try and find the source of a certain issue where a crocolisk is losing it’s brain due to how multiple processes are interacting and mirroring code to form a cohesive world. There were similar types of issues like this back in 2004 but we wanted to try and resolve this one before the weekend for the folks who are testing.
To fully understand the interplay, consider terrain. This includes the placement of hills and valleys, trees, buildings, and more. When hooking up the old terrain data files to the new modern game system we realized that the way the system looked at the shape of data was different. This resulted in the updated system and classic data not aligning, resulting in weird issues like Kolkar campfires underwater or burnt-out trees from the Cataclysm era appearing in the original world.
While our initial effort helped us determine the experience we wanted to provide, this second prototype really defined how we’d get there. Starting from a modern architecture—with all its security and stability changes—means the team’s efforts can be focused on pursuing an authentic classic experience. Any differences in behavior between our development builds and the patch 1.12 reference can be systematically cataloged and corrected, while still operating from a foundation that’s stable and secure.
One thing they told me when I dabbled into computer science back at university was that 80% of the bugs only take 20% of your time to fix. That's why sometimes you see issues persisting for very long times, not because the devs are lazy or incompetent, but because there is usually a priority list of problems, with the severe-but-easy-to-fix ones always taking precedent and the not-game-breaking-but-difficult-to-solve problems being last line.
We’re still looking at how we can best deliver an authentic Classic experience at launch, and in the weeks and months that follow - both in terms of gameplay and community. You won’t see phasing (which is tied to specific quests that don't exist in Classic) or cross-realm zones (which combine multiple realms together) in Classic. However, realm sharding is one of the best tools we have to keep realms stable when hundreds of players are swarming the same initial few zones and killing the same few mobs (like they will be at the launch of Classic). To that end, we do believe that some form of sharding may be helpful, especially in those early days. But we recognize that a cohesive world is critical to WoW Classic and are committed to bringing that to you. Layering in Classic WoW
After this past year of working on this project and forging our way through the various bugs and challenges, one consistent theme that’s emerged is that the difference between what we have and what we want is clearly visible. When we look at today’s World of Warcraft, we can see the differences between the modern game and the classic one. If we tried to update the reference client, we would have instead been tracking down a lot of “invisible” changes such as exploits waiting to be abused, crashes that don’t show up until you have millions of players online at once, and more. We chose to approach the problem in a way that makes our job clear and obvious instead of difficult and hard to see.
To fill our pool of beta and stress test participants, we’ll be choosing dedicated players who meet select criteria from both the WoW Classic beta opt-in and the standard Warcraft beta opt-in. Participants will also need to have an active subscription or active game time on their Battle.net Account. While opting-in to the beta is the primary way to make sure you’re in the running to join the test it doesn’t guarantee an invitation to the closed beta test. We may also consider additional factors such as how long a player has been subscribed to the game so that we have the right mix of players to ensure great feedback toward making WoW Classic the very best experience for the community.
Some class systems from the original game simply don’t have a modern equivalent. The class probably most affected by this is the hunter. The pet happiness and loyalty systems were removed a long time ago, as well as pet training and the ability to use both a ranged weapon and a melee weapon. In these cases, converting the old data to the new system wouldn’t work, simply because there is no new system to match. In this instance, we had to bring back the old code—and we did. Fortunately, the restoration went smoothly, though the reality of having to buy arrows or feed their pets again took a few people in our internal tests by surprise.
A lot has happened in World of Warcraft in the fifteen years since it originally launched, and over that time we’ve come to expect certain things, not just in WoW, but in games in general. As players explore Azeroth as it existed back in 2006 during the WoW Classic beta, they’re reporting bugs – but in many cases, these ‘bugs’ are really just features that are working as intended.
Nov 15 You Absolutely Cannot Have Sharding This will not work well with a classic experience. Myself and the vast majority of my friends plan on coming back for classic. None of them want sharding. I know I don't speak for everyone but this mechanic will completely ruin the experience. Just voicing my opinion as I am incredibly excited about this project.Wurmknight82 Nov 15
In OSRS, before bonds (their equivalent of tokens) were released, there was a strong gold industry, but most people who bought gold did so by buying bonds on the main game, then finding a dedicated 'swapper' who'd exchange their RS3 gold for an appropriate amount of OSRS gold (taking a cut for themselves, of course). I wonder if a similar system will pop up in classic wow
Nov 15 [OCE] Alliance
The most important thing you should note is that there are no official beta keys. Blizzard opens the gates to their betas by granting access to your account — not sending you a beta key. If you’re in the beta, you’ll be able to download and play the WoW Classic client from your Battle.net launcher. If not, you aren’t in the beta. It’s easy to be tricked into thinking you’ll get a beta key from an email that looks like it’s from an official Blizzard address, but don’t believe their lies — they’re all fake.
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Blizzard won’t just be picking names out of a hat to decide who gets to participate in the World of Warcraft Classic beta. In order to have a good chance at being considered, you’ll need to show that you’re a dedicated player. According to the games website, you’ll need to have an active subscription or active game time on our Battle.net account to be considered for the testing period.
Nov 15 The most hardcore thing you can do. In vanilla? I have a few things that could be it. Playing on a perma death PvP server and kill kel'thuzad. Without dying even once. Being able to kill a mage/rogue/warlock/pally in all BiS gear Soloing a high end dungeon boss like rivendare or dark master gandling. Leveling to 60 with no gear or weapons or pet of any kind. That is by far the most hardcore, life threatening thing you can do in vanilla wowHavell7 Nov 15
The quickest way to level up is to travel through the game's zones, completing all the quests you encounter along the way. Completing quests grants you Experience points, which will slowly fill in your experience bar with blue or purple. When the bar fills, you reach the next level. Alternatively, you could choose to run Dungeons or Battlegrounds, which are not covered in this beginner's guide.